Sunday, October 26, 2008

Qualifications for the Presidency: Substance, please.

I agree with Nancy Hanks' premise that we ought to rise above the pettiness of political demonization and personal attacks; there are enough real issues to debate.  This presidential election will go down in history as a milestone in American politics, no matter who wins it.  I cannot remember an election that energized as many people, or a longer campaign season.  I am for breaking the stranglehold of the two party system and putting fuller representation into all levels of government.  I plan to strongly join in the struggle to add more qualified Independents to the next election process.  I am hopeful that 2012 will be the year that an Independent candidate has a legitimate shot at the presidency.  However, having listened to Sarah Palin on several occasions, I don't agree that she is qualified to become president, which is the measure of any vice presidential candidate.  While John McCain obviously has the credentials, eighty percent of the problems we're having today can be laid on the Republican Party's doorstep.  Today's Republican Party is not the one of my youth--they have lost their way.  Therefore, I don't care who their candidates are, I would vote, and did, against them.  From all that I know, Barack Obama appears to epitomize the American dream, and he is thoughtful, intelligent, and measured in his responses.  But then, I was fooled by George W. Bush in the 2000 campaign--I took him at his word that he would reach across the aisle and compromise; instead he drove the partisan wedge deeper.  Bush tried to steamroll a man of principle, Senator Jim Jeffords, and it rightly backfired.  I've been an admirer of Joe Biden for years, even when I was strongly Republican.  Although I realize the significance of the first black presidential candidate, I have not looked on this election primarily as breaking barriers.  I have looked at it in terms of who can best restore America's economy, move us away from the slide towards fascism, and restore our reputation in the world.  Frankly, I was surprised that Hillary Clinton did not get the nomination--that was what the majority of Washington insiders were predicting.  That said, I am strongly supportive of breaking all superfluous barriers.  I was very pleased to have had a small part in selecting the first female brigadier general in the history of the US Army Reserve. That broken barrier has since opened the way for several other women.  I look forward to the day that a woman becomes president, not because she is a woman but because she will be the best qualified.  I agree with Joe Biden that the next president will be tested by an international crisis; there are so many in the offing.  I am fully confident that Biden will be of great assistance to Obama in a crisis and in domestic affairs.  I cannot say the same of Palin for McCain.

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